With the mid-term elections behind us, the 113th Congress is expected to return to session next Wednesday, November 12, 2014. During this "lame duck" session, legislators will address many outstanding bills, including a bill to fund fiscal year (FY) 2015. In the spring, the Administration released its FY 2015 Budget Proposal, which included $2.406 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.
To ensure that the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants receive the Administration's proposed $301 million increase to $2.406 billion, which would allow us to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016, Members of Congress will need to hear from YOU about how important these programs are in their states and districts.
These upcoming weeks will likely be our last chance to advocate for increased funding to McKinney in FY 2015!
Here's What You Can Do:
Help us send at least 300 letters to Members of Congress, with a strong start November 12!
1. Send letters to ALL of your Members of Congress!
a. Direct them to the attention of the person who handles housing issues. (You can find out who this person is by calling your Senators' and Representatives' offices. Or, we can help you find the right contact information).
2. Ask others to send letters, too!
a. Email colleagues these sample letters and ask them to send letters, too.
b. Forward this Advocacy Update or this sample action alert to your email networks and ask them to send letters to their Members of Congress.
3. Let us know how many letters you send!
a. Email Julie Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jaime Colman at email@example.com. This is especially important so we can keep track of our progress toward our goal!
The Administration's proposed $301 million increase to McKinney, to $2.406 billion, would fund $37,000 units of permanent supportive housing to house people experiencing chronic homelessness. In combination with efforts to reallocate existing resources, this would put us on track to meet the Administration's goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Not only will meeting this goal in time result in housing thousands of vulnerable Americans with disabilities, but it will also mean that we will be on track to shift our focus to other populations experiencing homelessness.
This increase is sorely needed. Sequestration cuts put a tremendous strain on our homeless assistance systems, and expiring multi-year grants further reduce capacity. Furthermore, it is likely that the HUD budget will be particularly strained in upcoming fiscal years. It is critical that we send a clear message to Congress that they need to provide this increase in the final FY 2015 funding bill. Please draft letters to your Members of Congress TODAY, and send them starting next Wednesday, November 12!